Many actors working today would eagerly accept just about any role in the DC or Marvel Cinematic Universes. Thandiwe Newton, however, is not content playing a plot device in another character’s tragic backstory.
While promoting her new film, “Reminiscence,” Newton shared her desire to star in a comic book movie with the British outlet LADbible–but only in the right part. The actress revealed that she was forced to reject a particularly underwhelming role in such a film.
“I was offered a role playing someone’s mum who just dies,” Newton told LADbible. “I was like, ‘Meh, no.’”
“It was more the role, you know what I mean?” she added, before explaining that she actually really admires how certain filmmakers are tinkering with the genre’s well-tread conventions.
“I love what’s happening with these genres now, where filmmakers are f—ing with the genre,” she said.
“The perfect example is Taika Waititi, what he did with ‘Ragnarok.’ I love that the actors in it really want to push it too, of course they do – it’s boring otherwise, Jesus.”
She continued, “And you know, the fact that Watchmen used Tulsa [race massacre of 1921] in the origin story of that show, that’s critical race theory, you know, looking into the past and actually merging with it in the present so that we have a better understanding for our future.”
Newton admitted that she was initially skeptical of tentpole filmmaking but ultimately changed her tune once she experienced these movies’ potential to be both commercially and artistically valuable.
“As a genre they bore me, these big franchises, and I’m quite cynical about it too, because it’s just about money, it’s this behemoth of money that’s just like rolling forward gathering more money, right?” she said. “But now I feel like there is a demand from both the audience, I think people who are involved in the movies – but certainly the world – that there is better substance around these superhero things.”
It appears that the “Westworld” actress is selecting projects more carefully after the experience she had working on “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” Newton recently expressed disappointment that her character got the axe in the 2018 film in order to minimize production costs.
“I remembered at the time thinking, ‘This is a big, big mistake — not because of me, not because I wanted to come back,” she said. “You don’t kill off the first Black woman to ever have a real role in a ‘Star Wars’ movie. Like, are you f—ing joking?”